Three-Spacecraft Ballet: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 1)

Columbia roars to orbit on 19 November 1996, 20 years ago, today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, today, on 19 November 1996, the longest space shuttle mission in history got underway with the spectacular liftoff of Columbia from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. During almost […]

Rolling Out on High Final: 35 Years Since the Short Mission of STS-2 (Part 2)

The Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm is put through its paces during STS-2. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-five years ago, today, Space Shuttle Columbia was sailing—though not entirely smoothly—through her second orbital mission, STS-2. Aboard the orbiter, astronauts Joe Engle and Dick Truly were tasked with spending five days in […]

Flying a Used Space Shuttle: 35 Years Since the Short Mission of STS-2 (Part 1)

Columbia rolls out to Pad 39A in August 1981, ahead of the STS-2 mission. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For almost three decades, from November 1981 through July 2011, Canada’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS), also known as the “Canadarm,” supplied much of the muscle needed by the space shuttle fleet to complete its […]

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to Honor 35th Anniversary of First Shuttle Missions

Thirty-five years ago, in April and November 1981, NASA launched the first reusable piloted orbital spacecraft on its first two missions. In September 2016, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) will remember STS-1 and STS-2 with a panel discussion involving three of the four astronauts. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, this summer, NASA worked […]

'A Horrible Moment': 30 Years Since the Shuttle’s Mission for Britain and Indonesia (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on STS-29 in March 1989, carrying more than half of the original crew of Mission 61H. Photo Credit: NASA

The beginning of the end of Mission 61H came on 28 January 1986, when Challenger and her crew were lost, just 73 seconds after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

'Unless They Throw Me Out': 30 Years Since the Shuttle's Mission for Britain and Indonesia (Part 1)

The “core” NASA crew of the former Mission 61H, pictured during one of their post-Challenger extended simulations. From left to right are Mike Coats, John Blaha, Anna Fisher, Bob Springer, and (standing) Jim Buchli. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, Britain’s first astronaut—civilian chemist Helen Sharman—roared into orbit aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, […]

'Short-Lived Record': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-78 (Part 2)

 

Launched 20 years ago, this week, STS-78 still holds the record for the shortest interval between the announcement and execution of a Spacelab mission. It was designed to bridge the gulf between the twilight of the Spacelab era and the dawn of a long-duration research capability aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Photo […]

'Man, I'm Here': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-78 (Part 1)

Created as a “bridge” between the final Spacelab flights and the beginning of research aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) offered a nod to past and future. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, this week, International Space Station (ISS) research began in earnest, even though […]

One Man and His Catheter: 25 Years Since the Shuttle's First Life Sciences Mission (Part 2)

Having ridden to orbit wearing a heart catheter, Drew Gaffney (left) offers his arm to Jim Bagian and Millie Hughes-Fulford for one of many blood draws. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, one of the most complex scientific research missions ever undertaken rocketed into orbit aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. […]

'To Get Back Together': 25 Years Since the Shuttle's First Life Sciences Mission (Part 1)

Carrying the bus-sized Spacelab module in her payload bay, Columbia drifts above Earth in June 1991. Twenty-five years ago, this week, STS-40 marked the shuttle program’s first mission fully devoted to the life sciences. Photo Credit: NASA

For Bryan O’Connor, commander of the space shuttle’s first dedicated life sciences mission, the key concern on […]